2:29 Spanish football expert Alvaro Montero explains why Manchester City have made an outstanding signing in Torres
“Before I came here, I knew that there were a lot of players of a very high level,” he says. “But in the first training session, I saw that, wow, there is a lot of quality. I hope to be at that level soon.” He picks out Kevin De Bruyne for special praise: “He is a magnificent player, world-class.”
There is plenty of emphasis on the wide players in Guardiola’s system – Sane, Raheem Sterling, Riyad Mahrez and Bernardo Silva have all shone in recent seasons – and Torres hopes the 49-year-old will help him blossom too.
“He is a manager who knows how to get the best out of every player,” he says of Guardiola. “I am young and I think I have a lot of room to improve, so I thought he was the right man to help me do that. He wants me to play my game and get numbers, in terms of goals and assists.”
Wolves vs Man City
September 21, 2020, 8:00pm
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Torres speaks assuredly, with the air of a young man who knows what he wants and where he is heading. He puts his maturity down to his early breakthrough at Valencia, where crisis is never far away and the circumstances are invariably difficult.
“Of course, making your debut so young, at just 17 years old, makes you see life in a different way and approach things in a different way,” he says. “So yes, I believe I am a bit more mature than a lot of players of my age.”
Torres shone for Valencia, making 97 appearances in all competitions following his debut in 2017 and growing more important from season to season. Last year, only three Valencia players played more minutes than him in La Liga. In October, with his goal against Lille, he became the club’s youngest-ever scorer in the Champions League.
It was a wrench to leave his boyhood club behind. “Of course, it is not easy to leave a place which has been your home for 12 or 13 years,” he says. “You have spent your whole life tied to it, but every player has to look at what is best for him and I thought the best thing for me was to come to this great club and keep improving with Pep and these team-mates.”
Torres is certainly serious about the challenge ahead. He grew up a short drive from Valencia’s training ground and has never lived anywhere else until now, but he has moved to England alone – “I feel I’ve adapted well – it helps that it has been sunny,” he smiles – and while this interview is being conducted in Spanish, he is determined to improve his English.
“My English is almost perfect,” he jokes, before reverting to his native language. “There is a lot of Spanish spoken in the dressing room but I have an English teacher and I want to learn the language as quickly as possible. I hope that in a few months we will be able to do interviews in English.”
Before that, though, there are more important things to worry about, starting with a possible debut against Wolves on Monday Night Football.
“My objective is just to do as well as I can, to play as many games, score as many goals and provide as many assists as possible, and of course help the team win trophies,” says Torres. “I believe am ready for everything.”
Watch Wolves v Manchester City from 8pm on Sky Sports Premier League HD on Monday Night Football; Kick-off 8.15pm